22 user 30 critic

Ariel (1988)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | October 1990 (USA)
A Finnish man goes to the city to find a job after the mine where he worked is closed and his father commits suicide.


Aki Kaurismäki


Aki Kaurismäki
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Turo Pajala ... Taisto Kasurinen
Susanna Haavisto Susanna Haavisto ... Irmeli
Matti Pellonpää ... Mikkonen
Eetu Hilkamo Eetu Hilkamo ... Riku
Erkki Pajala Erkki Pajala ... Kaivosmies
Matti Jaaranen Matti Jaaranen ... Pahoinpitelijä
Hannu Viholainen Hannu Viholainen ... Apuri
Jorma Markkula Jorma Markkula ... Prikkamies
Tarja Keinänen Tarja Keinänen ... Nainen satamassa
Eino Kuusela Eino Kuusela ... Mies rannalla
Kauko Laalo Kauko Laalo ... Asuntolanhoitaja
Jyrki Olsonen Jyrki Olsonen ... Mies Asuntolassa
Esko Nikkari Esko Nikkari ... Autokauppias
Marja Packalén Marja Packalén ... Tuomari (as Marja Packalen)
Mikko Remes Mikko Remes ... Vankilalääkäri


The movie tells the story of Taisto Kasurinen, a finnish coal miner whose father has just committed suicide and who is framed for a crime he did not commit. In jail, he starts to dream about leaving the country and starting a new life. He escapes from prison but things don't go as planned... Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Aki Kaurismäki wrote the script over a weekend. See more »


Kasurinen lights a cigarette in an early cafe scene. When he enters the toilet eight seconds later, it is half consumed. See more »


Radio: [singing] I lost my dreams and everything in life, I lost my dreams because of you, Now I'm lost in my dreams, I hide from the world, I look out the window and watch the rain come down...
See more »


Follows Shadows in Paradise (1986) See more »


Menneitä muistellessa
Written by Olavi Virta
Performed by Olavi Virta
See more »

User Reviews

After Seeing Ariel, I Will Die A Happy Man
16 March 2001 | by Karl SelfSee all my reviews

When I first saw Ariel, at the beginning of the Nineties, maybe three years after it was first released, it blew me away. At the time I had gone through a long streak of awful "alternative" movies, the last one having been Atom Egoyan's "The Adjuster"; I was totally depressed and fed up with cinema in general since all the movies around seemed to be either generic Hollywood block busters or equally generic "intellectual" time wasters -- "The Adjuster" being a perfect example of the latter category. When I left the cinema after having seen Ariel, I had tears of joy in my eyes, thinking: "thank god, I do not have to give up going to the cinema after all". Ariel is exactly the movie I wish I had made, very cool, funny, stylish, engaging, romantic, hard core, subtle. I have seen it many times since, it has become my all - time favourite, desert - island movie. Of course there are other good movies around, but few which match its quality, and none of them changed my outlook on cinema the way Ariel did. Other Kaurismäkis movies I have seen and loved are "MacBeth", "I Hired A Contract Killer", "La vie de bohème", "Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö" ("The Match Factory Girl"), "Juha"; the Leningrad Cowboy flicks were OK, but not really my cup of tea.

Anyway, I have a small anecdote I want to get off my chest: shortly after seeing A I was talking with a couple of co - workers about movies, and one of them said: "the other day I saw the best movie ever, it's called Ariel, it blew me away, I haven't washed my eyes since", etc. I thought, wow, I would have never thought that she would like that movie, but there you go, truly good movies just have a universal appeal. Only years later did I find out that she had been talking about not Kaurismäkis' masterpiece but Disney's "Arielle -- The Little Mermaid". ;-)

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ariel See more »

Filming Locations:

Helsinki, Finland See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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